1. Insurance, Money, Transitioning

    For guys curious on the breakdown of how much it’s cost to transition, how much insurance has covered, etc, I thought I’d write this up based on my personal transition.

    Firstly, my insurance states very specifically that it will not cover anything transsexual related, which includes therapy, hormones, endo visits, surgery, etc. However, as long as it’s not brought directly to their attention, they don’t seem to mind covering a bunch of things.

    Therapy:

    • 4 sessions for diagnosis
    • 3 sessions for T letter, check-up
    • 1 session concerning top surgery
    • 2 sessions for family concerns
    • A couple of misc sessions
    • Total = about 15 sessions

    Insurance covered all of these sessions. We have a $20 co-pay, but part of that is refundable through our insurance thing. So I personally paid about $60 out of pocket. My parents didn’t pay much more than that.

    Name Change (NYS):

    • Name change petition
    • NYS license
    • Cost to fax changes to college
    • School ID

    The petition was $210. The license was $42. My school ID was strangely free. The cost to send two faxes to change my records at school cost about $5. Total name change costs worked out to be about $257.

    Hormones:

    • 1 endo consultation
    • 1 “learn to inject yourself” lesson
    • 2 endo check-ups
    • 3 blood work appts
    • 4 bottles of T
    • 4 bags of needles

    Only the consultation and check-up had a co-pay, which were both reimbursed. The lesson and blood work were completely covered. The needles cost about $2 for each bag of about 15 needles (so more than enough per bottle of T). The T itself cost $80. My insurance would not cover the T, so the first bottle was $80, the second I got reimbursed through my family’s plan, the 3rd and 4th I had to pay the $82 for. Thus far, I’ve paid $244. I’m considering figure out how to pay through the online store my endo has suggested so that it only costs about $60.

    Top Surgery:

    • 3 consultation appointments
    • 1 blood work
    • $5,324 Surgery (break down was explained in an earlier post)
    • 3 Post-op check-ins (so far)
    • Gauze
    • Surgical pads
    • Vest
    • Palmer’s lotion

    The consultations and post surgery check ups were free, as the price is already worked into the cost for surgery. The deposit is 10% of the surgeon’s fee and thus worked out to $350. The blood work was covered by insurance. My father had a lot of gauze, so that was free, but I did have to buy some surgical pads, which cost about $7. The vest was included in the surgical charge. I really haven’t gone out of my way to buy anything for scar treatment or anything like that. I did buy a lotion to rub onto the area to help with the skin elasticity. The total works out to $5,338

    Total Transition To Date:

    $60 + $257 + $244 + $5,338 = $5,899.

    Future Expenses:

    • Hormones for the next five years
    • Nipple correction
    • Hysterectomy in the next 4 years
    • Change birth certificate

    In the next 5 months, I’ll probably need another 12 vials of hormones, as each vial lasts me 20 weeks and I just got a new vial. If I go through the online store, that will cost about $720, over 5 years. (If I paid through the pharmacy, it’d come to $960.)

    The nipple correction, if I feel it’s necessary, I believe will be free, as it will be done in his office under local anesthesia. Correction charges should be included in the surgical fee.

    The hysterectomy I’d estimate, out of pocket, is about $6,000. At least those are the estimate I’ve heard from other people. I expect that any blood work needed for the surgery will be covered by insurance. I’m hoping to try to get the surgery covered by insurance, but I’m certainly not holding my breath.

    In NYS, to change my gender on my birth certificate I need to have had top surgery and a hysterectomy as well as be on hormones. After I have the next surgery, I’ll changed my birth certificate. I believe it costs $40 or $50 to change.

     
  2. 32 Weeks on T

    (8 months)

    Some updates:

    - My skin isn’t as oily, though I still get break outs on my back and shoulders often.

    - Voice still seems to be dropping, at least it cracks occasionally and I’m still working on getting comfortable with it.

    - Hip fat is starting to really go away now, but there’s still some there.

    - Facial hair is looking good! :)

    Also, this is the first time my shot actually kind of hurt. I’m thinking I should probably actually shift which leg I use…

     
  3. 12:34 22nd Oct 2011

    Notes: 3

    Reblogged from fuckyeahftms

    Tags: thormonestransgender

    I have a few questions?

    fuckyeahftms:

    Other guys on T.
    Did anyone else experince more jelously with T?
    How soon did u notise body fat shifting?
    Will the supper hunger fade?
    Annnnd my mood seems to get really volitle about 3 days after my shot..is that normal?

    Any help is mucho apresheated =]

    -paramedicshane

    1) I have been more jealous recently, especially with things going on with Gabbie, but I can’t figure out exactly where the jealousy lies. I think some of it is mostly a jealousy / envy of cis-guys, which I’ve always had, but I’ve definitely noticed an increased possessiveness / territorial thing that I’ve been doing with Gabbie ever since we met.

    2) Within the first 2-3 months, the fat on my thighs went away completely. Around 2-4 months, I lost some fat in my breasts, and I think that’s happened a little bit after that as well. I lost a little hip fat early on, but it wasn’t until recently (7 months) that I made really progress with that. There’s still just a little left, that would probably actually go away if I had time to work out again.

    3) I was hungry all of the time for about the first four months, then it started going away. Around 6 months, I started working out again and it spiked up, but no where near as bad, and then when I stopped working out, it went back down. Though I think, on the whole, I do eat more than I used to, I just don’t feel the need to eat constantly anymore.

    4) I’ve never had a problem with mood and hormones, but I have heard other people have problems with it. We are talking about messing with your natural hormone cycle, so it doesn’t surprise me that it happens. It’s possible that this will temper with time; if not, I’d bring it up to your endo and see if maybe adjusting the dose or how often you take your shot will help.

     
  4. A few random feelings about my transition thus far

    I try to think of my transition in steps - one obstacle to overcome, that can be broken down into manageable chunks.

    For me, the three biggest steps, the three most important steps, were starting hormones, getting my name / gender changed, and having top surgery.

    Now that my school has finalized my name and gender change, all that’s left on that step is to call housing to confirm that I’ve got somewhere to stay and then my second step will be completed.

    All that’s left that I really truly want and feel I need to do, at least for a while anyway, is to figure out surgery.

    I have to say that I feel a lot better knowing that two giant things are down and out of the way. I feel better being able to say I’m on hormones and moving closer to looking and feeling like who I want to be. I love that I have a proper ID and a new debit card and will be getting a new school ID in two months. I’m still nervous about having a male roommate; I truly hope to get someone I can get along with, but that’s a fear no matter which gender your roommate is. I already know I’ll be partially living at Ed House again. 

    I am getting a bit frustrated with the whole surgery thing. I want, and need, to speak with my mom about figuring out how to finance this whole thing and deciding if I can go ahead and schedule a surgery for sometime soon, or if we need to wait until I have more money saved up. I’ve looked into payment plans and that sort of thing, and I think I could do it, but I’ll certainly need to speak with my mom first. She’s better at this stuff.

    I know of a doctor nearby (20 minutes away) who a friend went to who I would like to go to for a consultation appointment. I originally went to the other one who was much further away because he supposedly would have been cheaper, but that doesn’t look like it will be true. So I’d like to go to this other one and see if a surgery could be arrange.

    But yeah… I just need to suck it up and speak with my mom first.

     
  5. I was wondering, how did you know you were ready to take testosterone (or when do you think someone should be ready for testosterone)?

    There were a couple of different things that helped me know I wanted to be on T:

    -          The first is that I’ve never seen a real future as “Sara” / female bodied. My mental image of myself has always been vaguely masculine and trying to imagine a maturing woman in my future just didn’t… settle with me.  

    -          The second was the way I was envious of all the teenage guys in my life. I am sexually attracted to guys, yes, but I have also always longed for aspects of their bodies. The idea of being tall, muscular, with a moderately low voice, and facial hair, and other things were things I’ve longed for.

    -          The third was more to do with body comfort. I knew that I had come a long way in accepting my body and myself, but there was still that discomfort. Not just because I didn’t fit “the perfect standard” or anything, but because it didn’t match my internal mental image, like I said before. Finding out that I could take T and having some of those things made it seem like exactly what I’ve been waiting for.

    Once I calmed down and simply accepted myself (which is where you seem to be), I was able to think about it more in the sense of “someday when I start T, I’ll be able to enjoy the changes, but for right now I’m ok with me”. I never really doubted that I would like the results of T but I did occasionally wonder if I would regret doing it. To be honest, I think that’s a good thing – it does kind of keep you from rushing too much. Plus it’s not something you can answer until you actually give it a shot – so far, I’m loving it more than I thought I would!

    In my opinion, when do I think someone’s ready for T? I think it’s important to feel very comfortable with your genderqueer identity, whatever it may be, and comfortable with the fact that a more masculine body would fit that identity. I also think it’s important to have some kind of peace with your own body – not saying you can’t be dysphoric or want changes, but I don’t think anyone should go on T just because they’re desperate to “fix” themselves. If you’re running into therapy just to get a T letter, I think those are the wrong priorities – I had them, and that mindset bit me in the ass. In the end, I was very grateful that I had learned to accept me so that I could really enjoy the changes I was getting as I was getting them, rather than always waiting to get the end result, so to speak. Naturally, I think it’s also important to have some kind of support system – whether it be family, friends, etc – and the financial ability to get it (whether insurance, some money saved up, whatever). But I think the mental stability of being comfortable with yourself and the emotional stability of being happy where you are in life are the most important signs that you’re ready. I honestly don’t think that you should be battling depression or in the throngs of dsyphoria when you start T. I think, if you’re mentally healthy, you’re in the best place to get the most out of T, to get the most out of people trusting your instincts, and gaining support from parents who might not be completely on board with medically transitioning. (Obviously, guys have done it and it has worked for them, this is just my opinion. But I’ve also heard of guys who weren’t in the best of places, started T, and were disappointed by the changes for a long time because they were still working on other problems.)

     

    In terms of family and starting T:

    My family was aware of my gender identity for a year and a half before I started hormones. Basically I came out to them and gave them some time to get used to it. Then I approached the topic of wanting to start hormones and surgery. It definitely caught them off guard and they pushed for me to go slower, I pushed to go faster, and no one really listened to the other person. This really just made them more reluctant to let me start anything. So, during last summer, I made the choice to distance myself from them for a little while and do what I felt I needed to. I went ahead with my plan to start hormones because I knew that that was what I needed to do for me. I did keep them informed of my plans and how they were going, but on the whole I didn’t give room for them to tell me no. In the end, both my parents were quite pleased to see that I had become more comfortable and happier with myself and so now they both feel ok with where I am. It’s also helped them to be more opened to me talking about surgery.

    As a note on family and using your preferred name – my family has only recently (after nearly 2 years) started using my preferred name and pronouns. Part of that had to do with me not being around enough, part of it had to do with my parents thinking I was going too fast, and part of it had to do with my parents seeing how much happier I am and wanting to put in an effort to show their support this summer.

     
  6. Just got a sharps container from our student health services. Definitely easy enough to get instead of trying to get an empty laundry degerent container or buy one.

    I sent an email asking about it, which kind of sucked because I had to go through my school account so it said my name on it, but I explained my situation like “I’m on HRT, taking testosterone, need sharps container, cheers ~John” and the nurse writes back “Hi Sara, sure come in and asked for this person”. ::head desk:: People are clueless.

    Anywho, I have a sharps container for Wednesday! All set!

     
  7. Dorm Room Next Year

    So I just found out the other day that I have to select a dorm room next week and was all like “oh shit I thought I had at least 2 more weeks!”. But no…

    I called the housing people and spoke to a woman who I’ve had a couple of conversations with in the past, so she knows my story. Basically what my issue is right now is that I’m currently on hormones so, by next semester, will look/sound/etc male. I’m also in the process of getting my name changed so my information will say ‘John Chapman’. So I feel completely like it’s unfair (for me and potential roommate) to be put into a dorm with a female. I mean, you’re a female, you get randomly placed into a room with someone, you expect them to be female to some degree (namely physically and by name, if not also in presentation) and I totally respect that. Plus I just don’t really want to live with a girl again (I haven’t really had problems with it this year, it’s just a personal thing that I want the experience of living with a guy).

    This is the main reason why I’m chosing to go ahead with changing my gender where ever possible as soon as possible, rather than putting it off for a year, which I’ve considered doing. By changing these things, I’ll be able to change my gender here at school and therefore get into a male dorm.

    There are definitely pros and cons to this, which I’ve been debating and worrying about. Pros: I want the experience, I want to make more guy friends/be more comfortable around guys, I don’t have to hide my roommate/out myself to bring new people over. Cons: I won’t have had surgery so there could be “surprise, breasts!” moments, I haven’t had a lot of close, male friends in a long time who I spend a lot of time with so this might be weird for me, my parents (in general) don’t really care for this (then again, they don’t really want me living with a girl and being on hormones either, but can’t put me in a single, so yeah they’re kind of useless).

    Either way, I’ve made the decision that I’m changing my gender officially and trying to get into a male dorm, so I called housing (as this post began) and the lady is going to help me out. Since the paperwork hasn’t gone through yet (mostly because I didn’t want to do it too soon and have it cause issues with my current rooming status), I’m going to my rooming appointment and selecting a room but not actually being put into it (it’ll be on hold for me, I guess). Later, after all the paperwork is finished and I change my records with the Registar, then I call her back up and I’ll be officially put into the male room (assuming that it all works out).

    So yeah, that’s what’s going on there.

    I also haven’t actually told my parents that that’s what I’m planning on doing yet, but whatever.

     
  8. Increase in Dysphoria

    When I came back to school in the Fall, I knew that I had to make it through the semester and try to improve my mood and activities level at school before I had any hopes of getting on T. So I pretty much said fuck it and just went for it; I lived as John, was seen as John, and that did an incredible amount for my self-confidence and for reducing my dysphoria. I definitely had days where I was like ‘ew hips’ or got freaked out by my chest and stuff, but it was something that passed quickly and was forgotten once I got around people.

    This was great! My dysphoria kept decreasing until I finally made a call and got an endo appointment. Then I started counting down (I’m excited and impatient, it happens) and started getting more and more discontent because I wasn’t on T. The closer I get, the more often I catch myself staring at things that bother me or ruinating on body parts that I want gone/to change.

    I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing. I mean, it sucks, but it’s not like I’m swimming in dysphoria like I was all last year. The real problem is it’s making me more impatient. I have seven more days here in Boston, five of which I have classes. I’m having a hard time concentrating in class and getting motivated to do work. (Now some of that is pure exhaustion, it’s been 7 weeks straight of school and I need a break! Although it’s not looking like I’m going to get much of one with all the things that keep piling on!) I just want it to be next Monday right now! :(

    BTW, I just realized that my appointment is on pi day. How cool is that?!

     
  9. Things Are Starting To Move Along!

    I got an email Wednesday night from my gender therapist saying that the endocrinologist he recommends patients to is cool with seeing me and getting me started over spring break so I called Thursday morning and made an appointment for March 14!!! Super excited.

    It looks like the last two months of this semester I’ll be on T and I’ll have the four months over the summer. Which hopefully means that I’ll walk into school in the Fall for my Senior year looking at least like a Freshman/Sophomore and not 16!

    Second thing is that I plan on starting the name change process during spring break as well. It’s $210 to file it and takes about 5 weeks to process. Then I’ll have to get my documents and so forth changed, which I can do some of while at school and some once I get back from school. My therapist also said that he could write me a letter so I can change my gender on my social security and license, which means I should be able to dorm with a guy my senior year!

    I’m happy and nervous about that, honestly. Happy, obviously because I don’t completely care for living with a girl and I want that experience. Not so happy because I don’t know that many guys and I’m not always that great around them, but maybe that will change after T? Or maybe that’s something that dorming with a guy will help change. I also want to stay in this apartment building, which is mostly juniors and seniors, and I’m not completely sure if I’d do better with a younger guy (aka go and live in a dorm where I’d likely have a freshman or sophomore) or someone my own age.

    Anyway, lots going on and lots to think about. I’m just super excited for spring break- just 7 more weeks!

     
  10. Hormones!!

    Had a meeting with my gender therapist this morning to talk about life.

    We decided that I would be seeing an endocrinologist in my area (rather than in Boston where I go to school). He’s going to call in the next week or so and get me an appointment, hopefully for the second week of March, which is when I’m home for spring break. There’s a chance that I’ll have to wait longer than that, but I’m being optimistic. That’s only about 3 months away- I can definitely wait that long!

    Second decision was that I needed to start moving forward with my legal name change. I’ve done research into it already, so I know how to go about it and I’m hoping that I’ll be able to get the fee waived. Need to call a guy from the records department to check on what things I need to consider before changing my name (ie, will it muck up housing and my FASFA, should I just go for it or wait a while to make sure I don’t mess things up, etc).

    We also talked earlier about looking into insurance for surgery. I’ve been asking around with other transguys to find out how they’ve done it, but haven’t really had the time to just call my own insurance company and straight up ask. So that’s what I’m going to do after the holidays. If they will cover most/all of it, then I’ll definitely go ahead with it this summer, and that would be amazing!

    What else to talk about?

    My therapist has done a lot of work with the endocrinologist he’s sending me to and says that he’s most likely to put me on androgel instead of having injections. I don’t know a lot about this method, so that’s something I’m going to look into. If anyone has some good info about it/ experience with it, I’d love to know about it!